You can't search for a home online'

You can't search for a home online'


You can't search for a home online'

Are you a gadget fiend or a technophobe?

I’m all about usefulness. I never think: “That piece of tech is beautiful, I want it,” but if it’s useful to me, I’ll happily fit it into my life.

How has technology changed your work?

Enormously. In property, it’s been a seismic change — not in a good way. Sure, it’s wonderful to be able to see every property on the market. However, you cannot search for a home online. You can contact agents, get details and floorplans, but houses are built of bricks and mortar. They have a physical feel, so you need to see them in person. Few people have an innate knowledge of size. Do you truly know how 12ft x 12ft feels? Use websites to research what’s available but don’t think you’re house-hunting by looking at properties online. Because you’re not.

Are you an Apple addict?

Yes, but not for designer reasons, more because it’s incredibly handy to link up all our devices. I have an iMac in the kitchen, an iPad Mini and an iPhone — although not the latest models. I love iCal. It’s made juggling family life and business so much simpler.

Do you have meetings over Skype and Facetime?

No, but I should. I see families skyping each other all the time but not enough business meetings happen that way. Although I must confess, I do insist meetings are held at my house, so people come to me (laughs).

What was the first gadget you loved?

Remember the Palm Treo? I was an early adopter of email on phones. Swapping a keyboard for touchscreen was a big thing for me. It took me a long time to move over to iPhone. Then I got RSI in my hand from writing emails on my iPhone, so now I’ve got a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad.

What’s you favourite gadget?

There’s three that I can’t pick between. The O by Cloud Nine, which heats up hair curlers in seconds. You drop them in and it sort of microwaves them. I bought it at my hairdressers. It was quite expensive and I was slightly shocked at myself but it’s absolutely brilliant. I have a tiny Panasonic projector that I bought on a BA flight, which is fab for taking on holiday and playing films off iPad.

Do you have flash gadgetry in the kitchen?

My fridge is from Fisher & Paykel. My other half said, “Over my dead body are we spending £3,000 on a fridge” so we bought it second-hand. I use my Vitamix blender daily. And I bloody love my boiling hot water tap. It’s properly brilliant. Saves so much time.

Do you have phone etiquette rules at home?

The golden rule is that nobody’s allowed a Wi-Fi-connected device in their bedroom. You’d never take your 10-year-old son to a Soho porn shop and say: “Pick what you want,” but if you let your children have open access to the internet, that’s what you’re doing. I don’t believe their Facebook and Instagram are private, either. They’re not diaries under your pillow. Employers look at your social media history — it might not be fair but it’s fact.

What gadget would you like to see invented?

A reinflating sofa. Press a button and a puff of air plumps all the cushions back up.

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